Ex­treme risks at is­land hos­pi­tal

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

A DAMN­ING re­port list­ing ‘‘ ex­treme risks’’ to pa­tient and staff safety at a Tor­res Strait hos­pi­tal had been com­pleted for nearly two months be­fore re­pair work started.

The leaked re­port on the Thurs­day Is­land Hos­pi­tal, headed ‘‘ Crit­i­cal is­sues – Ex­treme Risks’’, de­tails a long list of probl ems i den­ti­fied as of Jan­uary 7, 2011.

The re­port said per­siste n t wat e r l e a k s h a d closed the re­gion’s only op­er­at­ing theatre and shut the only birthing f a c i l i t y wi t h c e r t a i n spe­cial­ist ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

A fail­ure of the emer­gency call sys­tem was also ‘‘ se­verely com­pro­mis­ing p a t i e nt s a f e t y ’ ’ , wit h n u r s e s a n d p a t i e n t s given hand bells and told to use phones to call for emer­gency help for three months.

A fail­ure of the air con­di­tion­ing meant ex­treme heat and hu­mid­ity were putting staff and acutely ill pa­tients un­der stress.

Health Min­is­ter Geoff Wil­son said, de­spite the re­port be­ing pre­pared in Jan­uary, r epairs had been un­der way for only ‘‘ about a week or so’’.

O p p o s i t i o n L e a d e r John-Paul Lang­broek, who re­leased the re­port, said the gov­ern­ment had bro­ken a prom­ise to im­prove fa­cil­i­ties in the Tor­res Strait.

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